Playing with the Narrative of Mental Illness: Communication Beyond Serious Empathy games 

This essay focuses on the implicit narrative of mental illness communicated through the cultural
rhetoric of serious games and empathy games. Games about mental illness are seen to promote a
change in behavior and foster greater understanding by breaking down the boundary between the
neuro-non-normative avatar and players. However, rather than cultivating empathy, these games
reinforce notions of mental illness as the unknowable Other. Using Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods
(2017), this essay demonstrates how the use of non-serious elements, changes to the narrative premise,
and limited insight into the avatar’s mind create a new communicative situation. Oscillating
between sameness and difference, the game shows mental illness as a normal part of life, of growing
up and getting to know yourself and the people around you.

The Importance of Self-Development Podcasts to Improving Mental Health in Generation Z 

Objectives: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a global rise in mental health issues within
Generation Z who has grown up in a digital age where social media platforms have become an integral
part of their lives. Self-development podcasts can be a valuable resource for those, who are seeking
support and guidance to improve their mental health and well-being on various platforms. However,
there is a shortage of mental health professionals leveraging podcasts as a valuable tool for
mental health education and support in the Vietnamese context. Therefore, this article takes the
pioneering step by exploring the importance of self-development podcasts to improve mental health
in Vietnamese Gen Z. Methodology: The research employs qualitative research, and data was collected
through semi-structured interviews with nine content creators who produce self-development podcast
programs in Vietnam. Results: The results highlight the role of self-development podcasts in
improving mental health among Vietnamese Gen Z by analyzing how it is consumed and revealing
the multifaceted impact of self-development podcasts on mental health among Vietnamese Gen Z.

Celebrity Worship, Social Media Use, and Mental Health

Over the past two decades, social media use has become increasingly popular including its use by celebrities. Related to this, research has indicated that a minority of individuals may develop a psy- chological dependence on celebrities that can lead to obsessions and diminished functioning. Alt- hough research has also shown that worshipping celebrities can have positive consequences, re- search has also shown that there is an association between the pathological aspects of celebrity wor- ship and poor mental health such as high anxiety, increased depression, high stress levels and poor body image. Moreover, there appears to be evidence that pathological celebrity worship has in- creased over the past two decades and one of the primary reasons for this may be increased social media use by both celebrities and their fans.